Lesser-known Avian Migration Systems in South America
Mon, July 11, 14:00 - 16:00 hrs, Room: 302
Lisa Davenport, Paulo de Tarso Antas
Avian migration systems in South America are poorly known, particularly intra-tropical migration and seasonal movements. Many details still need to be uncovered to aid in conservation strategies in a quickly-industrializing region. Here we attempt to synthesize current knowledge, assess emerging patterns, and plan for priority research in the future.
The leading paradigms about avian migration systems have largely been based on studies of north-south movements. The existence of avian migrations that take place entirely within the tropics is little appreciated and poorly studied. Some powerful motivators for north–south migrations include predator satiation on the breeding grounds, increased energetic requirements for cold weather, and decreasing food supply. However, within the tropics, we have little understanding of how these or other broad ecological drivers affect seasonal presence, movement, or migration strategies of birds. Knowing more about migration and movements within the tropics across multiple taxa will aid us in understanding how to better protect tropical avian species, and possibly pinpoint more effective conservation strategies. The study of South American avian migration has recently seen rapid advances thanks to the availability of newer technologies such as satellite telemetry, the ICARUS initiative based on the International Space Station, and light-level geolocators that may weigh only a few grams. However, long-term studies, such as from banding or radio-tracking studies, provide some of the only data available to look at trends over time. Here we aim to get a broad overview by incorporating studies of different technologies and from a variety of locations in tropical South America. The symposium aims to allow time for open discussion among researchers in the field as to priorities for research in the future. Our moderator, Dr. Paulo Antas, founded the Brazilian government’s bird banding program, and ran it for 20 years; he will bring an important perspective of how far we have come and where the most fruitful work in avian ecology and migration has been occurring in the region. As most of our speakers are advocates for avian conservation and protected areas, we will attempt to distil what we still need to know and where we most need information for some of the more rare and threatened species of the region. The primary objectives of this symposium are to: 1) bring together researchers working across South America on the topic of avian movements and conservation to share research results, and to try to synthesize emerging patterns in avian movement within the tropics; 2) to identify groups of birds or regions of South America where research is particularly likely to provide new information to scientists and conservationists about important avian flyways and stopovers; 3) to identify critical groups where research is lacking and their conservation requires information provided by movement studies.
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